|Photo courtesy of ABC News’ Jake Tapper|
President Obama invited a small group of five top Democratic political bloggers to a private meeting at the White House today. The group includes Joe Sudbay of AMERICAblog, John Amato of Crooks & Liars, Oliver Willis of OliverWillis.com, Barbara Morrill of DailyKos, and Duncan Black (aka Atrios) of Eschaton.
The invitations were extended late last week, and the meeting was to be a Q&A; with the President for 45 minutes, followed by 15 minutes with presidential adviser David Axelrod. No recordings are permitted, but the White House will release a transcript of the discussion after it is finished. There were no restrictions as to what could be asked. News of the meeting was embargoed by the White House until the beginning of the meeting, 3pm Eastern today.
While the President reached out to many progressive leaders immediately after the inauguration, inviting them to the White House for private meetings, cocktails and dinners, progressive bloggers were noticeably overlooked. This will be the first time that President Obama has met with progressive bloggers since taking office.
It will also be the first time that President Obama has sat down and taken questions from a member of the gay media, Joe Sudbay, who is representing both AMERICAblog and AMERICAblog Gay.
Joe will report back on what’s asked and answered after the meeting. He reports that they took his BlackBerry away from him moments before the meeting, so there won’t be any tweets.
The meeting is thought to be part of a larger White House “charm offensive” to shore up shaky relations with the Democratic base before next Tuesday’s elections. ABC’s Jake Tapper photographed the gang right before the meeting.